Actor-filmmaker Mannava Balayya dies at 92, Nandamuri Balakrishna pays tribute: ‘A great artiste’

Veteran Telugu artiste and filmmaker Mannava Balayya passed away on Saturday at the age of 92.

Balayya made his acting debut with Etthuku Pai Etthu and starred in more than 300 movies. Apart from that, he also bankrolled films such as Chelleli Kapuram, Neramu – Shiksha, Chuttalunnaru Jagratha and Oorikichchina Maata among others. He made his directorial debut with the 1983 release Nijam Chebite Nerama?, which starred Krishnam Raju and Jaya Prada. He also helmed Pasupu Tadu and Police Alludu, which released in 1986 and 1994, respectively.

He made his debut as a writer with Chellili Kapuram, a Sobhan Babu and Vanisri starrer, which released in 1971. The 2013 release Ramachari was his last film as an actor, while the 1987 release Allari Paandavulu was his last film as a producer.

Balayya received State Nandi Award in the Best Story Writer category for Oorikichchina Maata. He also bagged Nandi Award for his production Chelleli Kapuram.

As soon as the news of his death was announced, several celebrities offered tributes. Nandamuri Balakrishna released a statement mourning Balayya’s death and wrote, “Balayya garu was an incredible actor. He shared the screen space with my father in several films and also played pivotal roles in my movies. Not only as an actor, but he also proved himself as a filmmaker, storyteller and writer. My family had a good bond with him. Today, knowing about his passing away has deeply hurt all of us. I wish peace for his soul and a heartful condolence to his family.”


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